Japan

South African’s are Twitterholics

SA 10th in Twitter Well tickle my nipples and call me Bob! South Africa has become the 10th largest user of Twitter in the world.

According to Canadian research company Sysomos, South African Twitter users make up 0.85% of total online Twitter interaction, beating Japan (0.71%), the Philippines (0.64%) and China (0.49%) to a spot in the top 10. Quite impressive for a third world country, hey?

Overall though, the US is the winner by quite a large margin with 62.14% of the world’s users, followed by the UK (7.87%), Canada (5.69%) and Australia (2.8%).

According to the study, Twitter attracts around 55 million unique visitors worldwide per month! Of that figure, 0.85% are South African. That amounts to about 467 500 SA visitors per month. Can you believe that? Almost half a million South Africans log on to Twitter each month. Incredible!

Looking at the popularity of Twitter today, it is amazing to think that it all started as a simple pet project in Evan Williams’ basement, way back in March of 2006. Since that time Twitter has become the world’s most popular social networking and micro-blogging site, attracting celebrity users such as Oprah, and a growing mountain of media and blog coverage. In all honesty, I use Twitter so frequently, that I sometimes wonder why no one thought of it any sooner.

[Sources: News24, IOL]

 

For those who still do not know, you can follow my Twitter here: www.twitter.com/HansHaupt.

 

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

 

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Gaijin Tomodachi Tachiyorimasu (Laura & Troy’s SA Reprieve)

P1040818Recently, a good friend of mine returned to South Africa for a brief 13 day reprieve. Laura, along with her fiancé Troy, have spent the last two years abroad in Japan teaching English to the natives. Although they have both been enjoying the unique experience, they, like Dorothy, could not wait to tap their heels because, no matter how short the stay, “there is no place like home”.

If you are wondering about the title of this post, it is supposed to translate into something like: “Internationalised Foreign Friends”. For all I know it could mean “Tasty Octopus Nipples”, what with the dubious reliability of some of the Internet’s ‘translation engines’.

My poor Japanese skills aside, it was great to be able to spend time with both Laura and Troy. Thankfully we got to see them a few times before returning to Japan.

The most memorable evening took place on Saturday night, 8th August 2009. Upon my recommendation, myself, Mik, Nicholas, Laura and Troy, made our way to the Nelson Mandela square in Sandton City. Those of you who know me personally, can attest to the fact that I always like to try new and exciting places or events. As a result, I managed to persuade almost everyone to try Lekgotla), an African styled restaurant, with the hopes of getting to eat a gastronomically unique dish. We were not disappointed.

P1040800Lekgotla is Tswana for ‘the meeting place’, and what a meeting place it is. The place is beautiful. There are no two ways about it. Think traditional African symbolism meets modern European contemporary art. The perfect place to bring foreigners for a taste of African culture.

Thankfully we arrived before the dinner time rush and were thus able to procure and be seated at one of the restaurant’s exclusive ‘gotla’ – one of only two hut-like structures that are able to seat eight people comfortably.

To be frank, the food was simply spectacular! All the way from the Crocodile Carpaccio, Peanut Butter Calamari and Vetkoek starters, to the Ethiopian Coffee Steak, Glazed Pear infused Ostrich fillet and vegetarian platter main courses, and finally all the way to the stomach distending three Crème brûlées degustation dessert; not a single dish was a disappointment. Honestly, a part from being absolutely divine, the food also served as a form of entertainment value for the evening. Discussing the strange delicacies and varied tastes made way for interesting conversational elements and, in some cases, the food prompted ‘hands on’ action as well as the often unexpected, and rather loud, oral expulsion of digestive gases. It was definitely an evening to remember!

Furthermore, throughout the course of the evening, we were constantly impressed by the level of service, but even more so by the welcomed yet unexpected amenities. To begin, we were all offered a cleansing vanilla infused hand wash, with vanilla scented towels to boot. Our hands smelled delicious, unfortunately they did not taste that way. After that a cart was brought over with an opportunity to try out a traditional ‘cocktail’. After come impressive bottle work, we were handed the crushed ice, vodka, honey and lemon juice cocktails. Although the drink sounds like something which could clear ones sinuses, it was actually rather good. A short time later, after the starters, we were given the chance to bare tribal markings upon our beautiful visages. Unfortunately, no one was keen to have their face painted, no matter how ‘unique’ the experience on offer was. Next time though! To top it all off, we were eventually asked if we would have liked our shoes shined. Once again, no one obliged. Although this time it was not for lack of trying, but merely because no one was wearing shoes which could have been shined. To conclude, the service at Lekgotla was excellent. From the moment we arrived we were greeted warmly and made to feel as if we were the only people there. Granted we were at the time, but the level of service did not decline even though the place eventually filled up faster than a rush hour taxi.

As a result, Lekgotla is the perfect place to take foreigners and it is the ideal location for individuals who are willing to embrace their ‘African’ roots. We would give Lekgotla a rating of 9/10.

In essence it was really very good to spend time with everyone, especially Laura and Troy. They have both grown tremendously as a couple and we are all looking forward to their big day – possibly in 2010. We miss them both quite a lot, but we are immensely thankful for the time we were able to have together. The venue just made the experience that much better. After all, nothing is better than creating highly memorable moments, with unforgettably awesome people.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

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Breaking News: Pokémon Exist!

Hey Milieu Pals,

Have you heard the news? In a recent discovery made by a Japanese journalist,a secret lab was found that has begun genetically engineering animals to resemble the cute critters of the world renowned Pokémon brand. Apparently they wanted to create a Pokémon Zoo to help increase Japan’s dwindling tourist economy. CNN.com had the following to report:

"In a startling discovery, made by the infamous Japanese reporter Ms. Yoshiko Sakurai, the evidence of an advanced experimental gene splicing and cloning facility was found in Saijo within the Chugoku Sanchi district of Hiroshima. The facility was said to be experimenting with animal DNA, through a new genetic process that incorporates the peptide bonding of nucleic acids; and the dismantling of RNA chains through the use of a revolutionary restriction endonuclease called Moniseraze. Through this new process, the Japanese scientists were able to splice genes from different animals to create new biological organisms. Although this is a tremendous breakthrough for modern medicine, it is in direct violation of the Genetics Act of 2001. The organisms created offer striking resemblances to that of the famous Japanese Pocket Monster concept, Pokémon".

I hope you all enjoyed that piece of well written and semi-believable balderdash… LOL ! I’m sure most of you figured out that it was a false news story that I made up. If not… then I hope you have/had a good laugh at it !

So, do any of you Milieu Pals out there like Pokémon? For those who know me quite well, you’ll know that I’m really into collecting Pokémon cards, among other kinds of card collections. I have been a Pokémon fan for… gees… its been so long that I can’t even remember when it started in South Africa . Regardless I really enjoy playing the card game and the suspense of not knowing what cards you will be receiving when you buy a new ‘booster’ pack of cards.

Some of you, who are reading this, are probably thinking the following… "Pokémon, did he say Pokémon… HA HA HA HA"; "That’s for kids man, you’re twenty already"; and so on and so forth. I have only the following to say to those with such a narrow minded perception of individualism: when I started collecting the first series of Pokémon cards I was fortunate enough to obtain 2 Charizard Holographic cards. Both of those cards (in near mint condition) now have a collectors retail value of $160 dollars each, which equates to R1 040 (at time of currency conversion) and that’s only for a single card. My collection is now regarded as an investment, not just a child’s game .

Okay, the point of this entry was to actually discuss something that I found with regards to Pokémon. I can’t remember how I stumbled onto the site; I think it was from clicking on a link in the TeamXbox.com forums. Basically I was redirected to a site, called Worth1000.com, and onto a page for a Photoshop competition revolving around Pokémon. The aim was to create Life Like Pokémon.

I was amazed at what I had seen! Some of the people who submitted entries are really talented. So, I’ve decided to share the photographs with all of you. You may find the photographs of the ‘Real Pokémon’, with their names, in the album entitled: Breaking News: Pokémon Exist! For the website I got the photographs from, please click here.

View Breaking News: Pokemon Exist!

View Full Album

I should actually be studying now… considering the fact that I have two theory intensive exams for next week Wednesday; Psychology: Organisational Behaviour and Integrated Marketing Communications.

Wish me luck!

*Update* – I found this fan made video on Youtube which has even more pictures of ‘real’ Pokémon.

Pokemon Exist